Monday, December 18, 2006


Chilly and breezy though it was on Sunday, with the recent awful weather it seemed too good a chance to miss some potential rust hunting, so off I toddled. Dunno why but I was in the mood to gather a handful of rust and ask "how much?" again at last, so in consequence I came away with one or two goodies. The Tall Scotsman was in attendance and in festive mood. Right off I spotted one of the thin mortise chisels was still there, so in a spirit of research I gathered it up along with a delicate (and still useable, just for a change) boxwood shave and a pair of secateurs the Old Man fancied. Price was okay, 'specially bearing in mind the spokeshave, so I coughed up. As I say, he was in festive mood and wanted to show me this and that, and while leading me to a box so to do I spotted a marking gauge that took my fancy and another transaction took place - turns out to be by Joseph Tyzack I think. This may have earned me "most favoured customer" status for that moment, 'cos one of the things he wanted to show me was a multi-tip screwdriver of novel design. No obvious maker visible at the time, but very interesting, so I said as much. "Here ya go" sez he, "Have it. But bring it back when you've cleaned it up so I can see whether you've made a good job of it."


I thanked him profusely and we moved on to the next "item of interest" - the largest size of London pattern turnscrew (18" I think he said) in as-new condition. Perishing big screwdriver, I tell you. But the best bit was he actually had 3 or 4 screws of the right size to fit it. Goodness knows what they were intended for; usually large fasteners means ships and such, but these were ordinary steel. At the extreme opposite end of the scale was a nifty "drawknife", craftsman-made with ebony caps as handles at either end of a wickedly razor sharp knife blade. He muttered about it being for violin making, but I was hopelessly off the ball so I failed to ask for clarification.

Anyway eventually we went on our merry way and I was pretty convinced I must have had my good luck for the day. However, in amongst an unpromising-looking seller's goodies was another box of rust, from which I hauled a virtually unused 1 3/4" Hearnshaw brothers double iron, dittto on the condition of a larger spokeshave, a few bits including another variety of reamer and a wooden 3 1/2ft Tee-square. The reamers are funny; I went for years without seeing one and now I'm ending up with one of virtually every pattern ever made. As for the Tee-square, well who can resist mahogany with ebony edges? Well I can't... And yeah, you're thinking "how did a 3 1/2 foot square fit in a box?" - it didn't. In fact I nearly missed it altogether, it being in full view and all.

Time caught up with me so I don't have a pic of the cleaned goodies yet 'cos it was too dark, but I did finally track down the details of the screwdriver despite the patent number I found on it being apparently completely wrong. Luckily "Nettlefolds" was enough to assist me to find the correct patent here. Although I bet you have no idea how many patents Nettlefolds took out...


  1. A nice little haul, Alf. And I thought the wheel-type marking gauge was a relatively new idea - shows how much I know:(


    Paul Chapman

  2. Alf, the Tyzac marking gauge? does it have a pin on the oppisite end of wheel?


  3. Paul, did you not read the wondrously (possibly) informative review of wheel marking gauges? They're as old as the hills. Yeah, surprised me too :)

    SDP, it does indeed have a wheel at one end and a pin at the other, thus giving double the opportunity for the user to injure themselves - d'you know more about it?

  4. Actually I did read it, Alf (and very good it was too), before buying one - but the short-term memory is not so good these days (not that it was ever that hot!!).



  5. Alf I have a Tyzac mortise/mortice gauge I'll try and post pics on UKW as the box it came with is quite unusual.
    All will be revealed.



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